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Google tracking clickthroughs on search results

Discussion in 'Google' started by FeedBucket, Feb 17, 2006.

  1. #1
    Just noticed that all the links on search results are prepended with a redirect through Google.com. Is this new?
     
    FeedBucket, Feb 17, 2006 IP
  2. mad4

    mad4 Peon

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    #2
    I don't see it?

    Maybe they are experimenting.
     
    mad4, Feb 17, 2006 IP
  3. FeedBucket

    FeedBucket Active Member

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    #3
    Looks like it's only in Firefox. Just tried IE and all the links are normal.
     
    FeedBucket, Feb 17, 2006 IP
  4. yfs1

    yfs1 User Title Not Found

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    #4
    This is nothing new..They have been doing it for some time
     
    yfs1, Feb 17, 2006 IP
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  5. digitalpoint

    digitalpoint Overlord of no one Staff

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    #5
    They do it once in awhile for testing. But either way, Google tracks EVERY click in their search results, whether it looks like it or not.

    They use an onmousedown event for each link that calls a JavaScript function that reports the link clicked behind the scenes... For example a link to this forum in Google's results looks like this:

    <a class=l href="http://forums.digitalpoint.com/" onmousedown="return asq(event,this,'res','3','&sig2=k0XLNyReiUBrUHU72VFYjQ')">Webmaster Forum - Internet Marketing &amp; Search Engine Forums</a>
    HTML:
    asq() is a JavaScript function that does this:

    function asq(event,el,ct,cd,sg) {
    	if(window.XMLHttpRequest){
    		if(el.handledFirstTime){
    			el.handledFirstTime=false;
    			return false;
    		}
    		el.handledFirstTime=true;
    		var x=new XMLHttpRequest();
    		x.open("GET","/url?sa=T&ct="+escape(ct)+"&cd="+escape(cd)+"&url="+escape(el.href).replace(/\+/g,"%2B")+"&ei=ohH2Q9q9F5SsYYbE3IcN"+sg,true);
    		var m=event.altKey||event.metaKey;
    		if(!m){
    			x.onreadystatechange=function(){
    				if(x.readyState==4){
    					clearTimeout(timeoutid);
    					el.dispatchEvent(event);
    				}
    			};
    			var timeoutid=setTimeout(function(){
    				x.abort();
    				el.dispatchEvent(event);
    			},2000);
    		}x.send(null);
    		return m;
    	}return true;
    }
    Code (javascript):
     
    digitalpoint, Feb 17, 2006 IP
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  6. Rushh

    Rushh Well-Known Member

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    #6
    ^^ Great explaination.. thanks!
     
    Rushh, Feb 17, 2006 IP
  7. NetMidWest

    NetMidWest Peon

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    #7
    So, any idea why they would need the second, occasional tracking?
     
    NetMidWest, Feb 17, 2006 IP
  8. DiscJockey

    DiscJockey Well-Known Member

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    #8
    The function i've got is

    onmousedown="return clk(this.href,'res','11','')"

    I dont see the asq() -- maybe because i'm from UK.. not sure.
     
    DiscJockey, Feb 17, 2006 IP
  9. digitalpoint

    digitalpoint Overlord of no one Staff

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    #9
    Not sure either... still shows as asq() for me. But either way I bet clk() is doing the same thing for you.
     
    digitalpoint, Feb 17, 2006 IP
  10. turulillo

    turulillo Peon

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    #10
    Hi everybody,

    I'm Alexandre from the Taggle Team.
    We made a lot of tests about Google's tracking, through the toolbar and through the results pages.
    There's 2 kind of tracking in the results pages.
    This one:
    http://www.google.com/url?sa=U&start=1&q=http://www.website.com/&e=10012
    And the JS one which is invisible in the status bar.
    Concerning the first one, Google does it sometimes to monitor specific queries.
    We use to see it a lot 2 years ago and a lot less now.
    For the JS URL tracking, as far as we know, it's not systematic.
    It only happens if you're logged via a Google account and if you subscribed to Personalized Search with this same account.
    For example, it never happened to us to see it without being logged (you know that you aren't logged if you see a "sign in" link on the top right corner of your Google result page, but only on Google.com).
    But, we also never noticed URL JS tracking if we were logged with an account with which we didn't subscribe for Personalized Search...many of you are going to say "I've never subscribed to PS" and I se the URL JS tracking.
    Well, most of us (SEO) tried the feature at least once, at the beginning, to check how it works, and since then, as we did it with a specific Google account (there's no other way to do it) every time we perform a search on Google being logged with this account, we are tracked...and you have to know that most of us are always logged as we go on Gmail, AdWords, AdSense, Gtalk, etc...one or several times a day.
    So if you tried just once Personalized Search on Google.com with the Google Account login you always use, you can be sure that all you searches are tracked, otherwise there’re not.
    Just log out, or log in with another Google account and you will see that you aren't tracked anymore.
    Sorry for my bad English.
     
    turulillo, Feb 20, 2006 IP
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  11. NetMidWest

    NetMidWest Peon

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    #11
    Thanks turulillo, that is interesting.

    I have been curious for some time about the "e".
    Do you have any data - is it specific to the user, geographic area, or the search query?
     
    NetMidWest, Feb 20, 2006 IP
  12. hulkster

    hulkster Peon

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    #12
    I forget what they call it, but Adsense "rewards" those web sites that have higher click-thru's ads - makes sense, because it is a way of determine relevence/interest.

    Ditto as I understand for the paid search results on the right side of the search listings.

    By the same token, it seems reasonable to me that a web page that garners a higher percentage of click-thru's from the organic search results should be somehow rewarded - i.e. with probably a higher ranking since the masses have deemed to more relevent (or more probably, had a catchier title! ;-)

    And the opposite would be true too ... and in fact, would be a decent way to ferret out spam as humans can often see at a glance if something is crap - i.e. keyword.com/keyword/keyword.html
     
    hulkster, Feb 20, 2006 IP
  13. Brad Callen

    Brad Callen Peon

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    #13
    Im not sure if they do reward sites with higher click-thru's ads.

    I have some sites that get 50% + click through and are very targetted. Were earning alot from adsense, then they got smartpriced.

    Tell me how that is rewarding me :) Unless google has some weird backwards thinking going on.

    Brad
     
    Brad Callen, Feb 21, 2006 IP
  14. Fahd

    Fahd Well-Known Member

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    #14
    Wow...this thread has been nothing less than an eye opener so far, thanks for sharing everyone! :)
     
    Fahd, Feb 21, 2006 IP
  15. gford

    gford Peon

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    #15
    At my federal government position we had someone from MSN Research do a presentation and a big thing I learned from this is both MSN and Google will be using a lot more user behavior on their SERPs. Some things they monitor thru the "opt ins" are:

    • dwell time
    • next page
    • previous page
    • etc..

    He got very nervous when I began to ask where the data comes from but when I was able to talk to him privately it confirmed what I suspected. Toolbar and other opt-in programs (such as logging into your account and never logging out).

    very informative presentation in many ways, this was certainly one of them.
     
    gford, Mar 18, 2006 IP
  16. BWDOW

    BWDOW Guest

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    #16
    Google is tracking all thing. Tries to track all clicks that we made. They are also logging our history with google toolbars.
    Also Gmail records all emails :)
     
    BWDOW, Mar 18, 2006 IP
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  17. Mong

    Mong ↓↘→ horsePower

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    #17
    haha :D
    Google has more info about us than our governments have about us. :eek:
     
    Mong, Apr 5, 2006 IP
  18. tycoonjo

    tycoonjo Banned

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    #18
    Google tracks EVERY click in their search results, whether you like it or not.
    Google - Bigdady..... yes they are watching....
    Some say goolge is made by some Aliens????
     
    tycoonjo, Jun 13, 2006 IP
  19. solid7

    solid7 Active Member

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    #19
    It's sort of like my webstats - they track everything, too. Including referrer spam from bwdow.com.

    This, despite the fact that I have you filtered by .htaccess. What's your secret?
     
    solid7, Dec 10, 2006 IP
  20. boblimwong

    boblimwong Peon

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    #20
    That's why I've uninstalled & deleted all pieces of Google products in my computer for a while.
     
    boblimwong, Dec 11, 2006 IP